You often hear people talk about the need for confidence in the business world. And it’s true, entrepreneurs are some of the most confident people—it’s kind of in the job description. They have to launch themselves into the world knowing they are bound for success and believing they have what it takes to reach their ultimate goals.
But what many of these discussions are leaving out is the need to balance that confidence with humility.
Confidence without humility creates an asshole that nobody wants to be around.
Sorry to put it so bluntly, but it’s true. If you’re 100% convinced that you are 100% without fault, you are bound to fail, and bound to make some enemies along your path to failure.
Humility is the angel on your shoulder, suggesting that maybe you still have some things to learn. She is the voice that tells you when your plan may need tweaking or your approach softening, when what you’re doing may not be the perfect solution.
Humbling oneself is simply being willing to admit that you have room for growth.
Humility is not self-depreciating and it’s not a sign of weakness.
Confidence and humility belong together. They temper one another. They are the ultimate power couple of character traits.
Have you ever met someone who oozed confidence but was still down-to-earth? Still approachable, friendly, curious, and graceful? They had the confidence-humility balance nailed.
When you are able to balance your confidence with humility, you don’t come across as a brash egoist with an unrealistic view of self. And why would you want to?
Likewise, when you balance your humility with confidence, you don’t come across as a powerless, deflated weakling.
Together, confidence and humility create the perfect recipe for growth. The former says, “I’m capable and willing to work,” and the latter says, “I’m willing to learn and make adjustments along the way.”
Are your confidence and humility equally yoked?
When is the last time you analyzed a failure critically? If you come up short on a goal, what’s your first reaction? If it’s to look at external factors that can be blamed or to rush along to the next project, you may want to check your confidence.
If you meet each failure with an analytical, humble mind, you’re able to see your role in the outcome. You may ask yourself what you could have done differently, what you can learn from the experience and how you can make changes moving forward.
Someone with confidence and humility balanced isn’t afraid to look outside themselves for help, whereas someone with an unchecked ego is only looking outside themselves for a scapegoat.
Your humility creates openness and an opportunity to get better, to improve yourself and get closer to where you ultimately want to be.
It’s okay to think yourself completely capable. It’s good to be confident and to know your worth. But an unwillingness to address areas of potential growth will only stunt your success and fulfillment in the long run.